Our Team

Our staff are experts in finance, philanthropic giving, community organizing, capacity building, marketing and communications, and nonprofit management. We use these skills to assist our donors, our grantees, and our colleagues in philanthropy.

Members of the Board of Directors have a personal investment in the Yakima Valley and are passionate about building a community that’s equitable for all who call it home. The directors were chosen for their knowledge of community issues and their desire to serve the common good. The Board of Directors establishes policy, reviews the investment performance of funds, with guidance from the Investment Committee, and oversees the grantmaking process.

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Sharon Miracle

President and Chief Executive Officer

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Sharon has 20+ years in non-profit leadership as a CEO, executive director, vice president, and director for healthcare, higher education, and philanthropic organizations ranging in size from 2-4,500 employees and revenues from $350,000 to $4 billion annually. Sharon also worked in the private sector for a large agricultural cooperative in the Yakima Valley for nearly a decade leading communications and corporate social responsibility. Earlier in her career, she worked for one of the nation’s national laboratories writing proposals, negotiating contracts, and monitoring deliverables on research projects related to atmospheric sciences, technology, artificial intelligence, and more. Sharon holds a B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing Management from Central Washington University and has recently completed extensive graduate work in communication and leadership while pursuing her M.A. from Gonzaga University.


Lisa Fresco

Chief Financial Officer

Lisa

Lisa Fresco has spent her career in finance, serving to insure the fiscal integrity of community-centered organizations. She spent ten years in the Credit Union movement and held positions as Investment Manager, CFO and CEO at community credit unions in Middle Tennessee.

Lisa holds a Masters's Degree in Business and has successfully completed the testing requirements for the certification in public accounting. She believes strongly in the mission of the Community Foundation and looks forward to building opportunities in the Yakima Valley where she and her family now call home.


Lindsay Boswell

Chief Program Officer

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Lindsay Boswell has spent her career in philanthropy and higher education and has a passion for creating pathways to educational opportunities. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and Psychology and a master’s degree in Education with a focus in Educational Psychology and Human Development. Both degrees are from the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) where she also worked for four years with The Information School, managing their graduate admissions processes. She joins the foundation after most recently serving for ten years at Heritage University managing their fundraising activity. Lindsay is a transplant to the Valley, moving here with her husband who is a Grandview native with Mabton roots. Lindsay is a busy mom of three active children, and when time allows, they enjoy traveling together and also spending time with their large extended family.


Heidi Pelletier

Chief Development Officer

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For more than fifteen years, Heidi has had the privilege of working with individuals, families, foundations, and corporations to make change through meaningful philanthropy. She has partnered with benefactors to move forward the amazing mission and visions at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, and Heritage University. She is a proud graduate of Washington State University. She is a 21/64 Certified Advisor, with extensive training in multigenerational family philanthropy.

A Seattle native, she moved to Yakima in 2021 and loves spending her free time discovering all that is great about her new hometown with her husband and much doted upon dog.


Alex Gonzalez

Marketing & Communications Coordinator

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Alex grew up in Wapato WA and proudly became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He graduated from Central Washington University with a bachelor's degree in business administration, specializing in marketing. Early in his career, Alex dedicated his efforts to supporting minority-owned businesses and startups, helping them meet their marketing goals. Passionate about his community, Alex is deeply committed to making a positive impact in the Yakima Valley.


Mayra Quintero

Grants & Programs Associate

Mayras Head Shot

Mayra was raised in Wapato from a very young age. In 2018 she graduated from Wapato High School and received the Act Six scholarship and made the choice to continue her education close to home at Heritage University, where she recently earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology. Mayra hopes to contribute to the foundation's impact on the community during her tenure as a staff member.


Leah Yevseyev

Finance & Administration Associate

Leah head shot

Leah Yevseyev was born and raised in Yakima. She is a graduate of West Valley High School and Central Washington University. In 2000, she moved to Portland, OR where she worked for wonderful nonprofits such as Friends of the Children, Boys & Girls Aid Society, Marylhurst University and for the last 12 years at Westside Christian High School, doing mostly database management and event planning. Leah is excited to be back home in Yakima, along with her two children.


Faviola Gomez

Co-Director, Act Six - Ready to Rise

Faviola

Faviola Gomez was raised in lower (southern) Yakima Valley. She was a First Scholar recipient and graduated from Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication. As a first-generation student, student of color, and low income she understands the importance of having the right tools when pursuing higher education. Faviola served as the foundation's program coordinator for the Act Six and Ready to Rise initiatives prior to taking on a new role co-directing the programs. Faviola is looking forward to giving back to her community. She also enjoys spending quality time with family and friends through cooking or watching new shows.


Anita Mendoza

Co-Director, Act Six - Ready to Rise

Anita

Anita Mendoza was born and raised in South East Yakima. She graduated from Washington State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Development with a certification in Adolescence. Anita has a passion for working with students and helping them reach their fullest potential. As a first-generation student and now a first-generation professional herself, she believes it is her responsibility to better serve her community and support with the progress of her people. Anita stays active with her Latina Based Sorority, Gamma Alpha Omega Sorority Inc, by holding positions at the local and national level. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Anita stands with womxn of color, the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBTQIA+ community.


Marina Medrano

Bilingual Coalition Coordinator

Medrano Marina Small

Marina Medrano is currently a student at Central Washington University working towards her Bachelor of Arts degree. She was born and raised in Xochimilco, Mexico City but immigrated to Yakima with her mom at the age of 12.

Marina is an avid writer and worked as a writing consultant at the Yakima Valley Community College Writing Center for two years. During her time as a consultant, she had the opportunity to work one-on-one with students and community members from all walks of life. Her time as a consultant gave Marina a newfound love and appreciation for her unique community.

Marina graduated in the Spring of 2022 and continues to work for and amongst her community.

Lisa Campbell-John

Chair

Lisa Campbell John

Lisa Campbell-John is the Sr. Director of Community Health Services for the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in Sisseton, South Dakota. She has over 25 years of experience working in non-profits and healthcare to improve the lives of children and families. For the past 19 years, Ms. Campbell-John has worked for the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC). She focuses on providing preventative dental and health access through YVFWC’s four mobile units, as well as helping to build strong healthy families through parenting programs, case management, and home visiting services for pregnant women, children, and families.


Ignacio Marquez

Vice-Chair

Ignacio Marquez

Ignacio is the Regional Assistant to the Director for Eastern and Central WA at the Washington Department of Agriculture. He currently serves on the Central WA State Fair board and is also involved with a number of industry organizations.


Cynthia Juarez

Past-Chair

Cynthia Juarez

Cynthia Juarez is a leader and champion for early education and family services that set the foundation for lifelong success and well-being. She has been a life-long advocate for equity and social justice, which she promotes in all aspects of her personal and professional life.

Cynthia grew up in Grandview, Washington, and attended college at the University of Washington where she obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She holds a B.S. in Speech & Hearing Sciences, an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education, and endorsements in P-3 and K-12 Special Education. She recently completed her administrator/superintendent credential from Washington State University.

Cynthia’s community leadership includes membership on community boards and committees that represent higher education, migrant student populations, health care, and educational equity. Cynthia currently serves as the Executive Director of Early Learning and Migrant Education at Educational Service District (ESD) 105 where she leads the organization’s Early Learning and Migrant Education Departments, setting the vision and direction for child and family-centered services and academic supports that reach our most vulnerable community members. Cynthia is a champion for equity, working to establish systems that value and celebrate diversity and work to remove systemic barriers.

Cynthia resides in Terrace Heights with her husband, Rey, and two sons.


Josh Beck

Treasurer

Beck Josh

Josh Beck was born and raised in the Lower Yakima Valley. He graduated from Pacific University (Forest Grove, OR) in 2011 where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and was a captain on the Varsity Football Team. Josh began his career in the financial institution industry and currently serves as the Financial Controller of Petersen Hastings. He has earned numerous certifications in the areas of financial management and compliance and was quoted and cited in numerous industry publications. He graduated and earned Honors from the prestigious, Western CUNA Management School based at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Josh's involvement in the community includes serving as the Rotary President of Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club (2016). Outside of work, Josh enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, sports, and more.

Wendy Aguilar

Wendy Aguilar

Wendy is the Controller at Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Yakima & Tri-Cities. The company is held by The Dolsen Company and she’s worked closely with the Dolsen family on their business development efforts in dairy and agriculture throughout the region. Wendy has been an active volunteer at the Wellness House.


Gwen Chaplin

Gwen Chaplin

Gwen is a retired non-profit director who spent decades as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Central WA. She has served on several other community boards and brings experience in health care, granting, advocacy and non-profit finance and management.


Cragg Gilbert

Cragg Gilbert

Cragg was born in Yakima in 1952, the son of Virginia McCormick and Cragg D. Gilbert. He graduated from Eisenhower High School, Pomona College, Princeton Seminary and Claremont School of Theology. His intellectual passions are history, geology and fruit farming. He grew up working on the family’s apple and cattle farm and loved working beside his father, brother and friends. In 1975 he married another Yakima native, Barbara Smith and together they have two children, Nate and Sean, both of whom work on the farm. Cragg and Barb are blessed with three perfect grandchildren. They started and operated The Campbell Farm, a retreat and conference center on a 40-acre apple farm outside Wapato. In 1988 Cragg became Orchard Manager and, later, President of Gilbert Orchards. Cragg has been a member of the Yakima Pomological Club and the Yakima Rotary Club, Chair of the Yakima Growers and Shippers, the Chair of the Washington Apple Commission and Chair of the Yakima Valley Museum. Now semi-retired, he enjoys serving with many community organizations which help to make the Yakima Valley a great place to grow the next generation.


Kristin Kershaw-Snapp

Kristin Kershaw Snapp

Kristin Kershaw-Snapp grew up in Yakima. Her family has farmed in the area since the late 1800's. She has had a twenty-five-year career in the insurance industry, including two industry start-ups. Currently, she is the Director of Corporate Affairs for the Kershaw Companies. This role allows her to combine business with her passion for community development.

She has served on many non-profit boards, including two as a founding board member and ten years on the Kershaw Companies Board of Directors. She currently serves on the UW Foster School of Business Yakima Advisory Board. She is a graduate of Whitman College.

Kristin has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Washington, DC, and Seattle. She and her husband have raised their two children on Bainbridge Island with a menagerie of dogs, chickens, and horses.


Esther Magasis

Esther Magasis

Esther is the director of Yakima County’s Department of Human Services and formerly managed the County’s homeless program. Esther brings to the Board a strong understanding of the social determinants of health and equity. Prior to moving to the Yakima Valley she was the Polack Food Bank Manager at Jewish Family Service (JFS) and served as the Co-Chair for the Seattle Food Committee (SFC), a coalition of food banks from across Seattle. She was invested in building partnerships between food banks and farms, in order to create access to fresh, nutritious, and organic food for low-income urban communities while simultaneously supporting local growers and farmworkers. She also worked for the Domestic Fair Trade Association (DFTA), a nonprofit dedicated to protecting and promoting the integrity of domestic fair trade through moderating conversations between stakeholders of the agricultural industry, the development of fair trade principles and standards, and audits of existing fair trade labels. She has also supported the efforts of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, an independent farmworker union of indigenous families located in Burlington, during their Sakuma and Driscoll boycott efforts.

Esther holds a BA in International Business from Western Washington University.


Corinne Murphy-Hines

Corrine Murphy Hines

Corinne retired from Astria Heart Institute where she held the position of executive director. She has served on the Yakima Symphony Orchestra board for a number of years and is an invested community member who relocated here from Chicago. She is an avid photographer and Yakima Valley fan.


Paul Nagle-McNaughton

Paul Nagle Mc Naughton

Paul Nagle-McNaughton completed his B.A. in Psychology at the University of Michigan and received his M.S. in Organization Development through the psychology department at Central Washington University. His career spans over 30 years in counseling, social services, and human development. He has a background in community behavioral health, counseling, and organization development. Throughout his career, Paul has worked with individuals, families, and organizations to optimize individual potential, develop healthy families, and enhance organizational effectiveness. Paul has offered a wide range of training and consultation services to local businesses and community organizations. Paul has conducted numerous workshops and seminars locally and at state and regional conferences. He is currently a Senior Director with Comprehensive Healthcare in Yakima, Washington.


Jose Rivera

Jose Rivera

Jose Rivera is the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning at the Grandview School District. He has been an elementary school teacher, principal and central office administrator. He received his B.A. in elementary education K-8 and also his master’s degree in professional development along with his administrative credentials from Heritage University. Jose is currently pursuing his superintendent credentials at Seattle Pacific University. He mentors and works with youth at the Extra Mile Youth Center in Grandview and has coached girls’ and boys’ AAU basketball for the past eight years and is currently coaching 6th-grade boys’ basketball. Jose has two beautiful children – a 17-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son.


Giovanni Severino

Severino Giovanni

Giovanni Severino is originally from South Los Angeles, CA. At the age of 17, he and his family moved to the Yakima Valley in 2013. Since then, he has engaged in community efforts to improve the livelihood of marginalized communities in the area. He attended Yakima Valley College where he earned an Associate's in Arts. He attended Central Washington University, where he served as the ASCWU Student Body President 2017-2018 and graduated in 2019. He currently works at the Latino Community Fund as Youth Campaign Manager, in efforts to show our youth across the state how to be civically engaged to make changes in their local communities.


David Severn

Severn David

David Severn is the Chief Financial Officer for Washington Fruit and Produce. Prior to returning to his hometown with his young family, David was the Director of Finance for Inland Construction and Development, a company that develops, constructs, and manages age-restricted apartment buildings throughout the western states. He previously worked for 10 years for Leucadia National Corporation, a diversified value-oriented investment firm. As a Managing Director, he was responsible for managing investments in a variety of industries including auto dealerships, financial services, commercial real estate, wineries, and gaming. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in business and economics from the University of Puget Sound. David and his wife Chelsea have three young children.


Magaly Solis

Solis Magaly2022

Magaly Solis is the Executive Director of La Casa Hogar working with a resilient and powerful team to connect and educate Latina families and transform lives and the Yakima Valley. For nearly eight years, she held the position of Citizenship Program Manager with the organization. Magaly has also worked as a medical interpreter and a bilingual substitute teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Teaching from Heritage University, a certificate from the University of Washington’s Michael G. Foster School of Business, and is an accredited U.S. Department of Justice Representative.


Miho Sugasawa

Sugasawa Miho

Miho Sugasawa, CPA, is the Controller of Gilbert Orchards – a 5th generation family-owned fruit grower/packer. She previously held financial positions for Seneca Foods and Independent Foods, after working several years for Moss Adams, LLP in Yakima. Miho grew up in a small farming community in Japan. As the first college-goer in her family, she values wider access to education and opportunities. She immigrated to the U.S. after attending college where she met her husband. She completed her graduate work in accounting at Central Washington University and has a BA in Political Science, International Political Economy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Anita Quintana

Quintana Anita 2022

Anita Quintana is passionate about education, educational equity, community engagement, diversity, and bringing a different lens to all her work. She is currently the Family & Community Engagement Supervisor at the Yakima School District. In this role, she works with a team to evaluate school-based organizational and system infrastructures with the intent of identifying barriers and gaps that exist for families and communities, building relationships with families, and community-based organizations in support of student achievement. Previously she held roles at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences including Director, Office of Scholarly Activity, Assistant Director, and Research Administrative Assistant. She was an academic specialist at Northwest Community Action Center and Program Assistant at University of Washington’s College Assistance Migrant Program. Anita completed her Master’s degree in Education Policy and Organizations Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and has a B.A. in Spanish, American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington.


Shelly Valdez

Shelly Valdez website pic

Shelly Valdez is originally from the Yakima Valley where she was born and raised. She attended the University of Washington and started her career in the Seattle area. A couple of years ago, Shelly and her husband, Santos Valdez, along with their two young daughters, returned to Yakima. Shelly has been on a steep career trajectory during her time with Microsoft Corporation, where she currently holds the position of Venture Integration Lead - Global Treasury and Financial Services. Shelly and Santos are happy to be back in the Yakima Valley, where they are closer to family and friends. She is enthusiastic about new opportunities to engage in the community and support the mission of the Foundation. Shelly states, “this Valley has provided me with ample opportunities and resources to succeed, so I'm excited about the opportunity to give back".

Cragg Gilbert

Chair, Investment Committee

Cragg Gilbert

Cragg was born in Yakima in 1952, the son of Virginia McCormick and Cragg D. Gilbert. He graduated from Eisenhower High School, Pomona College, Princeton Seminary and Claremont School of Theology. His intellectual passions are history, geology and fruit farming. He grew up working on the family’s apple and cattle farm and loved working beside his father, brother and friends. In 1975 he married another Yakima native, Barbara Smith and together they have two children, Nate and Sean, both of whom work on the farm. Cragg and Barb are blessed with three perfect grand-children. They started and operated The Campbell Farm, a retreat and conference center on a 40 acre apple farm outside Wapato. In 1988 Cragg became Orchard Manager and, later, President of Gilbert Orchards. Cragg has been a member of the Yakima Pomological Club and the Yakima Rotary Club, Chair of the Yakima Growers and Shippers, the Chair of the Washington Apple Commission and Chair of the Yakima Valley Museum. Now semi-retired, he enjoys serving with many community organizations which help to make the Yakima Valley a great place to grow the next generation.


Josh Beck

Beck Josh

Josh Beck was born and raised in the Lower Yakima Valley. He graduated from Pacific University (Forest Grove, OR) in 2011 where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and was a captain on the Varsity Football Team. Josh began his career in the financial institution industry and currently serves as the Financial Controller of Petersen Hastings. He has earned numerous certifications in the areas of financial management and compliance and was quoted and cited in numerous industry publications. He graduated and earned Honors from the prestigious, Western CUNA Management School based at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. Josh's involvement in the community includes serving as the Rotary President of Sunnyside Noon Rotary Club (2016). Outside of work, Josh enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, camping, sports, and more.


Heidi Boyd

Boyd Heidi

Heidi Boyd is a Yakima native now living in Los Angeles where she is a Senior Managing Director in the Infrastructure Group of Blackstone where she focuses primarily on investments in utilities and transportation sectors. Since joining Blackstone in 2018, Ms. Boyd has been involved in the execution of Blackstone investments, including Carrix, NIPSCO, and FirstEnergy.

Before joining Blackstone, Ms. Boyd was at Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, where she was involved with numerous transactions in the utility, energy, waste, and transportation sectors. Prior to that, Ms. Boyd was a Consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

Ms. Boyd received a BA in Science, Technology and Society from Stanford University, where she also co-founded Stanford Women in Business. Ms. Boyd received an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to serving on the YVCF Investment Committee, Ms. Boyd serves on the Board of Stanford Professionals In Investing & Finance.


Bill Dezellem

Past-Chair

Bill

William J. Dezellem, CFA is Chief Investment Officer, and President of Tieton Capital Management, which he co-founded in 2005. Bill was the founding Portfolio Manager of the Davidson Investment Advisors Small/Mid Cap Value Strategy. With strong investment performance, assets grew from zero to $125 million. From April 2000 until June 2004, Bill was also the firm’s Chief Investment Officer, overseeing the investment professionals that managed nearly $1 billion of client assets. Prior to joining Davidson Investment Advisors, Bill was Vice President of Research and Senior Research Analyst at ICM Asset Management in Spokane, Washington. During his tenure from 1990 to 1997, he participated in growing the firm from approximately $100 million in assets under management to $2 billion under management with strong investment performance.

Bill graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Washington University with double majors in Business Economics and Business Administration with a Finance emphasis. When away from the office, he enjoys mountain biking, hiking, skiing, reading and photography while outdoors.


Kristin Kershaw-Snapp

Kristin Kershaw Snapp

Kristin Kershaw-Snapp grew up in Yakima. Her family has farmed in the area since the late 1800's. She has had a twenty-five-year career in the insurance industry, including two industry start-ups. Currently, she is the Director of Corporate Affairs for the Kershaw Companies. This role allows her to combine business with her passion for community development.

She has served on many non-profit boards, including two as a founding board member and ten years on the Kershaw Companies Board of Directors. She currently serves on the UW Foster School of Business Yakima Advisory Board. She is a graduate of Whitman College.

Kristin has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Washington, DC, and Seattle. She and her husband have raised their two children on Bainbridge Island with a menagerie of dogs, chickens, and horses.


Jesse Licht

Licht Jesse 2022

Jesse M. Licht, CFA is the Managing Director at BlackRock, Inc. BlackRock is one of the world's preeminent asset management firms and premier provider of global investment management, risk management and advisory services to institutional, intermediary and individual investors around the world. Jesse is a Managing Director and Deputy Head of Research in the BlackRock Manager Research group, focusing on the selection and ongoing monitoring of investment managers. Jesse's parents are Hamilton and Carol Licht and he grew up in Yakima. Jesse and his wife, Molly Tollefson, established a donor advised fund at the Foundation in 2006. Jesse graduated with a B.A. in Economics from Pomona College.


David Severn

Severn David

David Severn is the Chief Financial Officer for Washington Fruit and Produce. Prior to returning to his hometown with his young family, David was the Director of Finance for Inland Construction and Development, a company that develops, constructs, and manages age-restricted apartment buildings throughout the western states. He previously worked for 10 years for Leucadia National Corporation, a diversified value-oriented investment firm. As a Managing Director, he was responsible for managing investments in a variety of industries including auto dealerships, financial services, commercial real estate, wineries, and gaming. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in business and economics from the University of Puget Sound. David and his wife Chelsea have three young children.